It ain’t what you say, it is the way that you say it.

At least, it is if you are a politician.

Hillary Clinton has found herself mired in controversy (again!), this time over what she did or didn’t say regarding dodging snipers’ bullets during a visit to Bosnia in 1996.

Her claims were seized upon by political opponents, forcing her to admit to making a “misstatement” – or a “misspeak”. It depends on who you chose to read, I guess.

But, as ever, the big issue is not whether a politician chose to embroider the truth a little to overstate their role in the grand schemes of things.

It is the inability of our decision-makers to admit when they’ve got something wrong.

There is a pathological reluctance to admit a mistake. So we get “misspeak” instead of “I got it wrong”, or we get “unknown unknowns” instead of “We didn’t have a clue”.

On the rare occasion a senior politician holds up their hands and admits to a personal failing, the reaction tends to be positive.

Admitting to a mistake should not be political suicide, after all they are only human like us – most of the time. 

We all make mistakes and we all have to face up to them, apart from politicians it seems.


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